Theater Grottesco Celebrates 25 Years with 12th Night

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Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Santa Fe, N.M.-Theater Grottesco celebrates 25 years of boisterous, joyous, cutting-edge physical theater by unveiling a landmark new production Grottesco's 12th Night premiering at the Santa Fe Opera's Stieren Hall September 19 through October 5, 2008.

Grottesco's 12th Night turns Shakespeare's well-known romantic comedy upside down and inside out, transforming it into a social comedy and, finally, a tragic-comedy. Infusing the silly with the sublime, it is told from the servant's perspective, in a visual and aural feast befitting a 12th Night Mediterranean celebration. Theater Grottesco juxtaposes the poetic and bawdy with Shakespeare's verbosity and simmers it in breathtaking imagery, puppetry and dance.

Grottesco's 12th Night will be Theater Grottesco's largest show to date, its latest dark full-length comedy exploring themes of marginalization, power and class.

In Grottesco's version, the estates have crumbled, royalty hides in their suites licking the wounds of their obsessions while the servants dutifully pack up the houses, preparing for imminent uncertainty - leaving the only homes they have known for an unknown world with scant opportunity. Still, they can't help amusing themselves by re-enacting the story, the real love story of the Countess Olivia, Duke Orsino and Viola, the mysterious eunuch who washed ashore one day to serve the duke.

Guided by Artistic Director John Flax, in collaboration with the ensemble, Grottesco creates a chorus of Samuel Beckett-like clowns who were there and know all too well the story behind Shakespeare's play.

Theater Grottesco is a national touring company formed in Paris in 1983, out of the same training as the Cirque de Soleil. It has been based in Santa Fe since 1996. The company creates intimate theatrical events weaving classical theatrical styles into unique modern plays. Theater Grottesco has won awards in Paris and throughout the United States.

"Grottesco" in Italian means absurd, splendid, jubilant.

WHAT: Grottesco's 12th Night

WHERE: Santa Fe Opera's Stieren Hall

WHEN: September 19-October 5, 2008, Thursdays - Sundays, 8 p.m.
Tailgate parties are encouraged.
Opening Night Gala: Friday, September 19, 7 p.m. $100.
Catered champagne reception before and after the show

TICKETS: $25 general admission; $10 students. 505.474.8400
Group ticket price: $22 each for 10 or more.
Thursday Performances: Pay What You Wish
Friday Performances: Talk-Back with the Company
Sunday Performances: Talk-Back with Guest Commentator

"Theater Grottesco brings us home to a state of grace"
                                                    The Albuquerque Journal
                                                    Albuquerque Crosswinds
"cries out for hearts and minds open to its wide embrace of humanity"
                                                     The New York Times

Funded by The National Endowment for the Arts, New Mexico Arts: a division of the Office of Cultural Affairs, The City of Santa Fe Arts Commission and the 1% Lodger's Tax, and the New Mexico Tourism Department.


Jennifer Marshall